Thyrolipoma and thyrolipomatosis: 5 case reports and historical review of the literature
Because thyrolipoma (adenolipoma of thyroid) and thyrolipomatosis (diffuse lipomatosis of thyroid) are distinctively rare conditions with only few cases reported in the literature, we are reporting 5 additional cases. All the 5 patients were adult females, with ages from 38 to 79 years, who presented with thyroid masses. Four of the patients had normal thyroid function tests and one had mild hypothyroidism. All patients received partial or total thyroidectomy. The thyroid specimens showed either circumscribed yellow-tan masses (cases 1, 2, and 3) or diffuse yellow-brown discoloration (cases 4 and 5). Histologic examination revealed abundant mature fat infiltrating the affected thyroid tissue in 3 distinct patterns: (1) fat infiltration limited to follicular adenomas (thyrolipoma); (2) fat diffusely infiltrating throughout the thyroid gland (thyrolipomatosis); or (3) fat infiltration involving both follicular adenoma and their surrounding thyroid tissue. Because of the rarity of thyroid fat-containing lesions, confusion in differential diagnosis may occasionally occur. It is important to be aware during frozen section that these lesions may present as extrathyroidal nodules, which can be radioactive on intraoperative scan for parathyroid glands. In addition, a papillary thyroid carcinoma was also identified in one case of thyrolipomatosis. All patients recovered well after surgery and there has been no recurrence of the lesions after 1 to 24 years of clinical follow-up. In summary, we are reporting 5 rare cases of thyrolipoma and thyrolipomatosis with distinct histologic patterns. Previously reported cases of thyrolipomatosis were reviewed and analyzed with the current cases.